Skip to main content

The Genesis of Roman Architecture

John North Hopkins


List Price: 65.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


An important new look at Rome's earliest buildings and their context within the broader tradition of Mediterranean culture

This groundbreaking study traces the development of Roman architecture and its sculpture from the earliest days to the middle of the 5th century BCE. Existing narratives cast the Greeks as the progenitors of classical art and architecture or rely on historical sources dating centuries after the fact to establish the Roman context. Author John North Hopkins, however, allows the material and visual record to play the primary role in telling the story of Rome’s origins, synthesizing important new evidence from recent excavations. Hopkins’s detailed account of urban growth and artistic, political, and social exchange establishes strong parallels with communities across the Mediterranean. From the late 7th century, Romans looked to increasingly distant lands for shifts in artistic production. By the end of the archaic period they were building temples that would outstrip the monumentality of even those on the Greek mainland. The book’s extensive illustrations feature new reconstructions, allowing readers a rare visual exploration of this fragmentary evidence.

Praise For The Genesis of Roman Architecture

Winner of the 2017 Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities from the Council of Graduate Schools

John North Hopkins won the 2018 Spiro Kostof Book Award by the Society of Architectural Historians for his work, The Genesis of Roman Architecture.

Winner of the 2018 Publication Awards, sponsored by the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH)

"This book offers an important and original approach to archaic Roman history and makes a strong case for the precocious nature of Roman architecture and society."—Christopher Smith, University of St. Andrews 

"Hopkins’s new approach to early Roman architecture offers a broad perspective on the interchange between ancient Mediterranean cultures."—Nancy A. Winter, author of Symbols of Wealth and Power

Yale University Press, 9780300211818, 268pp.

Publication Date: February 9, 2016

About the Author

John North Hopkins is assistant professor of art history and classical studies at Rice University.